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A Better Partnership
May 31, 2016

MSC to consider whether medical bills meet notice requirement for PIP benefits

The Court of Appeals ruled that medical bills sent to an insurer that contain all of the information required by the notice requirement in the No-Fault Act do not suffice to put an insurer on notice of the claim, because the bills are intended to obtain payment, not give notice.  The Michigan Supreme Court has granted argument on the application, and required the parties in
Perkovic v Zurich American Insurance Company, No. 152484, to address whether Plaintiff Dragen Perkovic satisfied the notice requirements of MCL 500.3145(1) in an insurance claim. 
 
Perkovic was injured in a semi accident.  He received medical treatment from The Nebraska Medical Center.  Two months after the accident, Nebraska Medical sent bills for Perkovic’s treatment to Defendant Zurich American Insurance Company. 
 
Under the No-Fault Act, MCL 500.3145(1), Perkovic was required to sue Zurich for benefits within one year of the accident, or Perkovic or someone on his behalf must give written notice of the injury within one year of the accident.  If written notice is given, it must contain the claimant’s name, address, as well as the name of the person injured, and the time, place, and nature of the injury.
 
Perkovic did not sue within one year of the accident, and sought to extend the No-Fault statute of limitations by relying the medical bills sent to Zurich by Nebraska Medical.  The Court of Appeals held that Perkovic did not provide sufficient notice that the medical bills would not alert Zurich to the possibility of a no-fault claim.  The Court of Appeals concluded that Nebraska Medical sent the medical bills to Zurich solely for the purpose of obtaining payment. This notice of injury, which was unrelated to a possible claim for no-fault benefits, did not trigger Defendant’s investigative procedures or advise defendant of the need to appropriate funds for settlement, failing to meet the statutory requirements.
 
Our earlier post on the Court of Appeals’ decision can be found here.

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